These quotes about Juneteenth will help you celebrate one of the most remarkable United States’ holidays and learn more about why it is so special of an occasion.
Juneteenth, which is a mashup of the words “June” and “19th” marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed.
Contrary to public belief, after the Civil War occurred, and the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, there were still slave-owning entities in states like Texas that were practicing slavery even after it had been made illegal.
They did not have social media or news channels back then, so news traveled slower, and enslavers took advantage of this.
While Juneteenth is a holiday traditionally celebrated by African Americans, it is truly an American holiday for everyone as it commemorates the end of chattel slavery in the United States and a new chapter of our collective history.
Don’t forget to also check out these black history month quotes celebrating African American contributions.
Juneteenth quotes from Professors
1. “Juneteenth simply was not part of my K–12 educational experience.” – Theodore Regina Berry, University of Central Florida Professor
2. “Today on Juneteenth, the day we celebrate the end of slavery, the day we memorialize those who offered us hope for the future and the day when we renew our commitment to the struggle for freedom.” – Angela Davis, UC Berkley Professor
3. “One of the things it’s important to realize is that Juneteenth is not the first commemorative event of its kind for Black American people.” – Jarvis Givens, Harvard Professor
4. “The holiday of Juneteenth, like all black civic practices, has been a critique of the fact that whiteness continued to be a metonym for citizenship.” – Jarvis Givens, Harvard Professor
5. “The Emancipation Proclamation is significant because it legally ended slavery in the United States.” – Regina Berry, University of Central Florida Professor
6. “The end of slavery in the British West Indies in 1834 became one of the most widely celebrated Freedom celebrations in the 19th century; again, preceding Juneteenth.” – Jarvis Givens
7. “A combination of the words “June” and “19th” — Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.” –Regina Berry, University of Central Florida Professor
8. “Juneteenth — celebrates the end of the enslavement of people of African descent, primarily in the states of the former Confederacy. But it is also significant to the legal history of this country.” – Regina Berry, University of Central Florida Professor
9. “The proclamation notes that freedom shall not be repressed. This is what I believe to be the primary significance of Juneteenth.” – Regina Berry, University of Central Florida Professor
10. “Juneteenth, short for June 19, marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed.” –Regina Berry, University of Central Florida Professor
11. “Juneteenth is tied to the story of enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, learning that they had been emancipated, close to two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had formally been put into place.” – Jarvis Givens, Harvard Professor
12. “The first Freedom celebrations did a very similar kind of work that Juneteenth would do after the Civil War: They commemorated the suffering and deliverance of Black people. It wasn’t only about them being enslaved, but also a protracted struggle to make freedom a real thing.” – Jarvis Givens, Harvard Professor
13. “ Juneteenth continues to be important, not just because it marks the end of slavery, but because it becomes a ritualized, political holiday that tells and retells the story of Black people’s ongoing struggle in a nation that’s so invested in forgetting.” – Jarvis Givens, Harvard Professor
14. “So I think that people at a national level looking to Juneteenth and celebrating and commemorating it is a good thing, because it can open up conversation and create platforms and opportunities for people to have more pointed discussions around these histories.” – Jarvis Givens, Harvard Professor
15.“Juneteenth is a holiday that tells black people they must truly understand their history. Much of what is known about Juneteenth does not properly consider the relationship black people have to Africa, but instead commercializes it.” – Kofi Leeniles, Towson University Professor
Juneteenth quotes from Hip Hop Lyrics
16. “Buy land, own a house, Redline representer, Juneteenth, turn ya out.” – Big K.R.I.T
17. “History class ain’t tell us ’bout Juneteenth /Cops don’t give a damn about a negro Pull the trigger, kill a negro, he’s a hero” – Public Enemy
18. “The loss of a history, a language of religion/Didn’t cause our story to glory God intended We went from Juneteenth to the 13th amendment/Fighting to get” – Black Thought
19. “But we celebrate Juneteenth, pour libations, drinks in rotation.” – Swaun Blaze
20. “That’s why the only blue we salute is to Nipsey/Juneteenth barbecue at the precinct/ Hanging by the pigtails” – Malik Yusef
21. “At this point I’m in my bag/I had to Diddy Bop Writing this on Juneteenth/Let the glizzys pop – Rambo
Juneteenth quotes from powerful melanated women
22. “Juneteenth is a date that recognizes the end of slavery in the United States.” – Bethel Kyeza
23. “The 4th of July was never about Black people. Juneteenth is just for us.” – Tanesha Grant
24. “Although Juneteenth is not a day that is celebrated in the UK, it is still a reminder of the injustices black people endured.” – Bethel Kyeza
25. “As Black people, we are told we don’t deserve our own holidays rooted in our own history. Everything is whitewashed. Juneteenth is for us.” – Tanesha Grant
26. “Juneteenth is important to me because till this day black people are still subject to racial injustice on a global scale, and are still victims of racial abuse regardless of where they are from.” – Bethel Kyeza
27. “ I am humbled to share in the legacy of Juneteenth and understand that this becomes my fight to continue.” – Brianna Taylor
28. “Juneteenth is special to me because as a Caribbean diasporan, I find inspiration in the idea of ancestors overcoming tyranny.” – Mallory Luz Romero Sankofa
29. “Juneteenth allows us to remember how far black people have progressed since and it is a reminder of the strength we have within us.” – Bethel Kyeza
30. “Juneteenth symbolizes the hope that my children and grandchildren will be free. It’s Black Joy and Black tenacity to survive.” – Tanesha Grant
31. “Juneteenth to me means a lot. When we think about the African Diaspora and the history rooted in America and freedom for African Americans it serves a reminder that there are people before us that have fought for liberation.” – Fatima Cham, Activist
32. “Juneteenth was a promise that was broken. Reconstruction failed and this country has continued to wage war on the Black body” – Obrian Roasario, Activist
33. “Juneteenth also embodies the resilience of Black people. Even in the face of a broken system, we choose to find joy in resistance and celebrate in community.” – Obrian Rosario, Activist
34. “You do not have to be African American to appreciate the significance of Juneteenth, we are all tied to that holiday.” – Mallory Luz Romero Sankofa
35. “Juneteenth reminds me of Black freedom dreams, my freedom dreams. In 1865, the port city of Galveston, Texas, or the land formerly known as Mexico as I call it, where so much blood, Indigenous blood, Mexican and Tejano blood, Black blood had been shed, there was a freedom ring that was heard across the world.” – Danesse Mapanda
36. “Juneteenth represents liberation and it belongs to us. It is a constant reminder that Black freedom is predestined, that only we can tell our stories and that there is no freedom, without Black freedom.” — Dannese Mapanda
37. “The American education system has taught us as children that Black people have history in pain and survival. They have failed to teach us our history in joy, success, innovations and so much more. Juneteenth is a reclaim on our history that has been stolen.” – Nia White
38. “Juneteenth is greater to us than a Fourth of July or Christmas because it represents our culture, resilience, and deserving respect from a country WE built.” — Nia White
39. “Juneteenth means so much to me. It represents the freedom that my ancestors fought so tirelessly for. But rather than focusing on the brutalization of my people then and now. I choose to focus on hope.” – Mariah Cooley
40. “Juneteenth is a holiday that allows for citizens to increase their critical understanding of racial hierarchy in America.” – Mallory Luz Romero Sankofa
41. “June 19th reminds me that I am the force of power to change this world and to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors to work towards liberation.” — Mariah Cooley
42. “Juneteenth may mark just one moment in the struggle for emancipation, but the holiday gives us an occasion to reflect on the profound contributions of enslaved Black Americans to the cause of human freedom.” – Jamelle Bouie
43. “Juneteenth gives us another way to recognize the central place of slavery and its demise in our national story. And it gives us an opportunity to remember that American democracy has more authors than the shrewd lawyers and erudite farmer-philosophers of the Revolution, that our experiment in liberty owes as much to the men and women who toiled in bondage as it does to anyone else in this nation’s history.” — Jamelle Bouie
44. “Juneteenth has become a newly but proudly embraced commemoration in my family and we have been exploring the ways in which we want to experience and culturally embrace the date (and beyond).” – Tatiana Glover
45. “Juneteenth is another moment for me and my loved ones to build an archive of truth and experience of (ourselves) Black folks.” — Tatiana Glover
46. “Juneteenth is an opportunity for America to better understand that the Emancipation Proclamation, although significant, was not the true marker of Black freedom.” – Mallory Luz Romero Sankofa
Juneteenth quotes from writers
47. “Words of Emancipation didn’t arrive until the middle of June so they called it Juneteenth. So that was it, the night of Juneteenth celebration, his mind went on. The celebration of a gaudy illusion.” ― Ralph Ellison, Author
Juneteenth quotes from Enslaved People
48. “The 19th of June wasn’t the exact day the Negro was freed. But that’s the day they told them that they was free… And my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.” – Haye Turner, former enslaved person
Juneteenth quotes from Politicians
49. “Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday [Juneteenth].” – Texas Rep. Al Edwards
50. “Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible — and there is still so much work to do.” – Barack Obama
More Juneteenth quotes to honor the day
51. “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” – Frederick Douglass
52. “In the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism.” — Shirley Chisholm
53. “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won,
you earn it and win it in every generation.” – Coretta Scott King
54. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
55. “You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X
56. “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” — Fannie Lou Hamer
57. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu
58. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” — Malcolm X
59. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” — Toni Morrison
60. “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” ― Angela Davis
Juneteenth Quotes For Peace and Freedom
61. “Bringing Juneteenth to the Endeavor team has elicited a sense of satisfaction and growth. I do this work for a living, and I never stop learning.” — Alicin Reidy Williamson
62. “May Juneteenth not only be a day of celebration, but a day to commemorate those that were here before me and did not give up.” — Darnell K. Greene
63. “I’m excited to see this day being officially recognized at the federal level. Happy Juneteenth!” — Vanice Hayes
64. “They turned them loose on the nineteenth of June, and so that’s how we know to celebrate that day.” — Laura Smalley
65. “Juneteenth, which is now a federal holiday, is a time to celebrate African Americans “making a way out of no way.” It’s a time to remember the remarkable things we’ve accomplished since 1865, despite every obstacle thrown our way.” — Carlos Cubia
66. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” — Colin Kaepernick
67. “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.” — Rosa Parks
68. “The day we were free—everyone was free. Why not make it a paid holiday? We deserve that…We want a day that is inclusive to everyone.” — Pharrell Williams
69. “As part of our ongoing commitment to racial equality, Zillow observes Juneteenth as a paid holiday, and encourages employees to take the day for reflection, volunteerism, education, and activism to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S.” — Kristina Adamski
70. “No violence will create peace…To effect change we must show love in the face of hate and peace in the face of violence.” — Beyonce
What did you learn from these Juneteenth quotes
When Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, it marked the end of the Civil War and the beginning of a new era in America.
However, while about a quarter million enslaved people were now considered “free”, unscrupulous slave owners in Texas did not heed the new law.
Of all the Confederate states, Texas experienced very little large-scale fighting and only a small occupation of Union soldiers.
Texas slave owners took advantage of this, and in many cases, hid the information until harvest season was over, squeezing out one last dehumanizing experience before the 13th Amendment was adopted.
On June 19th, 1866, African American “freedmen” began organizing “Jubilee Day” to honor and celebrate their freedom.
Today, we continue to honor this tradition.
Ironically, Texas became the first state to formally acknowledge Juneteenth as an official holiday in 1979.
We hope you learned something today.
Which of these Juneteenth quotes and sayings your favorite?
Let us know in the comment section below.
September 20, 2022 7:36 AM EST